Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Which Cooking Oil to Use

cooking oilOil controversy got murkier over the past decade. All kinds of theories have been proposed regarding the ideal intake of oil and its quantity.  Clarify your doubts with My Health Guardian…..

Oils rich in omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for optimal health and metabolism. The parent fatty acid in the omega 3 fatty acid family is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is an essential fatty acid found in high concentration in certain plant oils—flax seed, mustard, canola, walnut oil and in dark leafy greens.

Olive oil: It’s believed that the best oil for heart is olive oil. Olive oil is made from the flesh of olives rather than seeds. This means that it requires less pressure and lower temperatures during the pressing process, which preserves the nutritional value of the oil. When buying olive oil buy the one which says extra virgin or virgin because then it means that the oil is from the first pressing and has not been refined or processed chemically. Olive oil is best suited as dressing in salads and for wet-saute method. High temperature takes away the distinct flavour of the oil.

Flaxseed oil or teesi has the highest concentration of omega 3 fatty acids. But, it must be used fresh and in teaspoon amounts.

Canola or rape seed oil is second only to flaxseed oil as the highest vegetable source of the essential omega-3 fatty acids Because it contains one of the highest ratios of unsaturated to saturated fats, it is one of the most heart-healthy oils, reported to reduce cholesterol levels, lower serum triglyceride levels, and keep platelets from sticking together.

Soybean oil is extracted from beans, not seeds. In the unrefined state, soy oil is rich in both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, yet most commercial soy oils are refined and hydrogenated. Because it has a high boiling point, it is okay for frying.

Mustard oil is used in Bihar, Northern UP and Bengal mostly for cooking food. This oil has a distinct pungent taste. Mustard oil is rich in good fatty acids. Mustard oil has only about eight per cent of saturated fats and rest is all unsaturated fats. While buying mustard oil always opt for Kacchi Ghani variety.

Groundnut oil contains heart-friendly MUFA that lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in our body without lowering the levels of good cholesterol. This oil is suitable for all types of cooking — frying, grilling, seasoning (bagar), etc

Ricebran oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and has cholesterol-lowering properties due to the presence of a minor component called oryzanol. It contains natural vitamin E, which is an antioxidant. It also contains squalene, which is good for the skin. This oil is suitable for deep frying. Studies have shown that snacks prepared in rice bran oil absorb 12-25 per cent less oil than those prepared in groundnut oil.

Sunflower oil is a popular cooking oil available under many brand names. This oil is rich in PUFA, particularly linoleic acid that lowers the levels of both good and bad cholesterol. Hence, this oil cannot be used as the only cooking oil; it could also be used along with other cooking oils.

Safflower/kardi oil contains PUFA in the form of linoleic acid.

Oil should be used in moderation. Rather than buying a big jar of oil buy small one litre packs of different oils. It’s advisable to buy blended oils so that you get the nutritional advantage of different oils and stay away from oils that turn in solid at room temperature.

Know more

Monosaturated Fatty Acid (MUFA): healthy fatty acid which lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides without lowering good cholesterol levels.
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA): This lowers the levels of good and bad cholesterol. Saturated fats: When consumed in excess, it increases the levels of both the total as well as the bad cholesterol in the blood
Unsaturated fats: These are considered good for health as they do not increase the levels of bad cholesterol.
Refined oil: This type of oil has been purified with chemicals to remove any suspended particles, toxic substances, flavour components, colour and odour, thereby leaving behind a clear and bland oil.
Filtered oil: Obtained by the traditional cold pressing method, this is filtered once or twice to remove suspended particles.

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Category: Fats & Oil
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